Stepping from the scary "government must be involved" scenerio into what is meant by government's role is highlighted above.Originally Posted by Waxman
The concern is that you need quality journalism to exist for a democracy to be vibrant. A good example of that is media outlets like C-Span, NPR and news on public television. C-Span is nonprofit. NPR and Public Televsion originated with government funding and is by far superior to any other traditional media outlets in the US. Newspapers have been an excellent source of quality news because it allows an issue to be explored in depth and not just in a sound bite. If these types of organizations fail and you're left with nothing more than large profit news, the democracy DOES suffer.
I think if you compare how society is changed, there is far more entertainment options to compete for people's time. That lowers the demand for quality news and starts making news services unable to maintain profitability. But if these services fail, are there enough quality options still available? I would say that the majority of society is apoliitical compared to most of you who post here. This failing demand can effect the quality of news reporting.
Really, Waxman's suggestions are not that unreasonable. Read them carefully. Government is in charge to determine tax laws-not unusual. The concept of media outlets being funded as non-profits is an interesting concept and not unlike C-Span which provides high quality,, direct to the source, hard news with little fluff (not really entertaining at all, but extremely informative, we're not talking Rush Limbaugh vs Ed Schultz here or the cliff notes version of political news). Exploring new outlets goes into whether or not we do need to move away from the old sources of news or expand the media being offered. An example of this is my public radio outlet no longer calls itself public radio but "public media" which reflects internet reporting, blogs and podcasts as part of their services.
I don't know if my explanation can move you away from the scary government concept, but what Waxman is talking about is already here.
(PS-most newspapers are conservative. I've seen studies before on this and I'm sure you'll find them if you look. Of course you're free to do the usual "all media are liberals" routine, but I ask you to look at little deeper on this if you want the reality of that industry.)